02 MAR 2021 by ideonexus

 The Danger of Black-Box Abstraction

When I was a graduate student, if you were going to convert some data or something like that, you would write the FORTRAN code to convert the data yourself. That’s how you would do it. Now there are these programs. There are these windows and you click. I .nd with my students all the time, they don’t know why something isn’t working. I’m like, well, did the data convert properly? Open the .le and look at it. It is so black box and it is going from the time when you knew how the data w...
Folksonomies: simulation abstraction
Folksonomies: simulation abstraction
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31 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Bumper Sticker Computer Science

A few of my favorites, not found in the linked article: "There are two ways of constructing software. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. The other is to make it so complex that there are no obvious deficiencies." C.A.R. Hoare "The purpose of software engineering is to control complexity, not to create it." Dr. Pamela Zave "The most important single aspect of software development is to be clear about what you are trying to build." Bjarne Stroustrup "T...
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13 DEC 2017 by ideonexus

 Why We Can't Have "Intuitive" Programming Languages

If a procedure named INSIGHT has been defined and then called seventeen times in the program, and the eighteenth time it is misspelled as INSIHGT, woe to the programmer. The compiler will balk and print a rigidly unsympathetic error message, saying that it has never heard of INSIHGT. Often, when such an error is detected by a compiler, the compiler tries to continue, but because of its lack of insihgt, it has not understood what the programmer meant. In fact, it may very well suppose that som...
Folksonomies: programming intuition
Folksonomies: programming intuition
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18 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Programming as a Way of Thinking

Running programs is the whole point of programming, of course, but there is more to it. The ability to execute code makes programming a tool for thinking and exploring. When we express ideas as programs, we make them testable; when we debug programs, we are also debugging our brains.
Folksonomies: programming thought
Folksonomies: programming thought
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01 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Acquire as little software as you can get by with, and st...

Acquire as little software as you can get by with, and stick with it. That's hardware critic Richard Dalton's advice. It's easy to get so caught up in the constant onrush of improvements and "next generations" in the software market that you wind up forever getting ready to work instead of working. You can buy last year's computer cheap, get last year's software, which runs beautifully on it by now, take the month to get fully running with it, and then turn your back on the market for a coupl...
Folksonomies: productivity
Folksonomies: productivity
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03 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 Liberal Arts Majors in Technical Professions

While we’ve hired many computer-science majors that have been critical team members, It’s noncomputer science degree holders who can see the forest through the trees. For example, our chief operating officer is a brilliant, self-­taught engineer with a degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He has risen above the code to lead a team that is competitive globally. His determination and critical-thinking skills empower him to leverage the power of technology without getting bo...
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Reminds me of my own career graduating with an English Degree and going into Computer Programming.